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NCAA College Basketball Best Bets This Week



Gear up for a brand new season of college hoops with our best bets from this week’s most talked-about matchups.

The 2023-24 college basketball season may only be in its third week, but we’ve already begun to separate the pretenders from the contenders. Michigan State entered the year with much fanfare, but fair-weather fans are already jumping ship after disheartening losses to James Madison and Duke. Ditto for St. John’s, which sits at 2-2 despite the arrival of Rick Pitino, who was hailed as a savior when he returned to the Empire State.

On the flip side, Tennessee looks poised to make a deep March Madness run. The Volunteers have raced out to a 3-0 record and are outscoring opponents by 23 points per game.

There’s likely to be even more surprises this week as all 353 Division I teams return to the hardwood. We’ve hand-picked the best games on college basketball’s jam-packed schedule and have tasked our experts with providing analysis for each matchup. Below you’ll find the latest odds along with a best bet for every game we’re tracking. Let the games begin!

Best bet: Purdue -5

The 3-0 Purdue Boilermakers have been powered by 7-foot-4 senior Zach Edey, who put up a season-high 28 points while matching his season-best 11 rebounds and four blocks in their last game. The big man has had some help, with Braden Smith putting up 11.7 points, 8.3 assists, and six boards while shooting 50% from downtown. Purdue has been blistering from 3-point range to start the year, drilling at a 46.3% clip, which puts them fourth in the nation. Defensively, the Boilermakers are holding teams to a dismal 34.7% mark from the field, which ranks 16th in the nation.

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Where can I bet on college basketball?

You can bet on college basketball odds at every online sportsbook and casino. The best sites offer NCAA basketball point spreads, Over/Under totals, derivative bets, NCAAB futures and even prop plays as well. Check out our list of the best U.S. betting sites and sportsbooks in 2023 to find a location in your region.

Strategies for betting on college basketball

Betting on college basketball games can be exciting, but it’s important to approach it with a strategic mindset. Here are some helpful tips to consider before laying down a wager:

Research teams and players: The college basketball landscape is always changing. Stay up to date on team rosters, NCAAB player injuries, and coaching changes to make the most informed decision possible.

Analyze team statistics: Review NCAAB team statistics such as points per game, field goal percentage, 3-point shooting, and defensive efficiency. Knowing is half the battle, especially when it comes to outwitting oddsmakers.

Study historical performance: Examine head-to-head matchups, recent game results, and trends between the teams. Some teams may have historical dominance over others. Just remember that not all trends are created equal. Try to rely on more recent data that takes into account the team’s current personnel and playing style.

Home court advantage: Consider the impact of home-court advantage. Teams tend to perform better when playing in front of their home crowd, especially in places like Duke’s jam-packed Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the frenzied fans are practically on top of the court.

Practice bankroll management: Set a budget for your betting activities and stick to it. Bankroll management is crucial for long-term success.

Shop for the best odds: Compare NCAAB odds from multiple sportsbooks to find the best value for your bets. Even a slight difference in odds can make a significant impact on your profits, particularly if you’re placing larger wagers.

Play the long game: Betting on college basketball is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t get discouraged by short-term losses, and avoid chasing those losses with bigger bets.

AP Top 25 Rankings

Rank Team Record Points
1 Kansas Kansas 2-0 1,530
2 Purdue Purdue 2-0 1,464
3 Arizona Arizona 2-0 1,356
4 UConn Marquette 2-0 1,311
5 UConn UConn 2-0 1,301
6 Houston Houston 2-0 1,180
7 Tennessee Tennessee 2-0 1,146
8 Bruins Creighton 2-0 1,130
9 Duke Duke 1-1 1,088
10 Tennessee Florida Atlantic 1-0 1,004
11 Tennessee Gonzaga 1-0 825
12 Miami Miami 2-0 778
13 Texas A&M Texas A&M  2-0 728
14 Arkansas Arkansas 2-0 719
15 Baylor Baylor 3-0 578
16 Trojans USC 2-0 573
17 Kentucky Kentucky  2-0 549
18 Michigan State Michigan State 1-1 516
19 Texas Texas  2-0 513
20 North Carolina North Carolina  2-0 501
21 Michigan State Villanova 2-0 406
22 Alabama Alabama 2-0 264
23 Illinois Illinois 2-0 170
24 Illinois James Madison 3-0 91
25 Illinois Colorado 2-0 78

Team rankings as of November 19, 2023. 

Biggest riser: Arizona moved up nine spots to No. 3 after defeating Duke by five points on November 10. Keshad Johnson led the way with 14 points and eight rebounds in a game that had a true March Madness vibe from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Biggest faller: San Diego State (No. 17) dropped out of the Top 25 after a shocking 74-65 loss to BYU on November 10. The Aztecs shot just 27.8% from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 13 times in the loss.

The Associated Press (AP) Top 25 rankings are determined by a panel of approximately 65 sportswriters and broadcasters from various media outlets across the U.S.

Each voter is asked to submit a list of their Top 25 college basketball teams. They rank these teams based on their assessment of their performance, including wins, losses, and overall team strength. The rankings are submitted on a weekly basis during the college basketball season.

Once all the individual ballots are submitted, the AP compiles the rankings by assigning points to each team based on their position in the voters’ lists. A team that is ranked first on a ballot receives 25 points, a team ranked second receives 24 points, and so on. The points are then tallied to determine the overall rankings.

The AP Top 25 rankings are released every Monday at noon during the college basketball season. 

Player spotlight: Idan Tretout

You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of Idan Tretout before. The Brooklyn native averaged just 7.3 points per game in three seasons at Harvard before heading closer to home this summer to attend Iona. Ditching the Ivy League was a challenging decision for the 6-foot-four guard, but the change of scenery seems to suit him just fine, as Tretout is now second in the nation in scoring at 25.5 points per contest. His latest headline-grabbing outing was a 34-point performance against Scared Heart that moved the Gales into first place in the MAAC.

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